Ashley Zeckman

How 3 of Healthcare IT’s Top Companies Are Tackling Social Media in A Highly Regulated Industry

Ashley Zeckman     Online Marketing, Social Media

It is no secret that consumers use the Internet to find information on physicians, treatments, and health plans. According to many critics Healthcare companies still don’t “get” social media.  While it’s true that many consumer based Healthcare organizations are slow to adopt social media, some of the worlds largest Healthcare IT companies have taken a step in the right direction.

McKesson Corporation, Dell Healthcare IT, and CareFusion were the top three Healthcare IT companies by revenue according to the 2012 Healthcare Informatics 100 Ranking report.  These companies have identified that there is value in social media, and have each taken a slightly different approach to engaging their audience.

McKesson Health IT

First on the list is McKesson Health IT.  McKesson IT has been a client of TopRank’s for a number of years but I do not personally work on their account.   McKesson is a leader in software, hardware, automation, services and consulting to hospitals, physician offices and home Healthcare.

Twitter: @McKesson_HIT
McKesson has created a solution focused social strategy on Twitter that encourages their followers visit their different web assets.   Adding a thought provoking question or your own unique spin to a tweet that includes a link to an article encourages followers not only to read the information, but share their feedback once they have consumed the article.


Facebook: McKesson Corporation
McKesson’s Facebook page reminds me of a vertical specific news feed.  Their cover image lets you know immediately who they work with, and the information included on the page helps keep followers up to date on the latest news in their industry, as well as some information on their solutions.

YouTube: McKesson Corporation
A unique feature about the way McKesson runs their YouTube channel is the way that the videos are organized.  McKesson is focusing on solving the pain points of their customers by creating playlists such as Better Connectivity, Better Patient Care, and Better Business Health.

General Recommendations:  McKesson does a good job of posting regularly and consistently on each social media channel.  McKesson has an opportunity to  begin incorporating more questions that inspire user generated content (UGC) which will encourage more interaction with current followers.

Dell Healthcare IT

Coming in at number two is a company you may not associate with Healthcare.  Dell offers a variety of Healthcare IT services such as Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Mobile Clinical Computing, and Clinical and Business Consulting.

Twitter: @DellHealth
Dell Healthcare does a good job of providing newsworthy information to their followers.  A smattering of videos, articles, and podcasts provides a little something for everyone.

Google+: Dell Healthcare
It doesn’t appear that Dell has a page set up specifically for their Healthcare division but there are a significant number of mentions about their brand.  These mentions include an insightful video of the 2012 Dell Healthcare Think Tank Event.

YouTube: Dell Healthcare
Dell does a fantastic job of not only creating great content, but organizing it in a way that speaks to their different customer segments and decision makers.  Dell has created a channel specifically for their Healthcare division that is a clever combination of solution insights, interviews, and information on their clinical trials.

General Recommendations:  From my research it did not appear that Dell Healthcare is utilizing Facebook as a channel for engaging their audience.  I would like to see Dell begin using Facebook as a way to add a peak into their company and the people who work there.  Dell may also want to consider finding a way to better connect with their audience on Twitter, and amp up their Google+ presence with a page specific to the healthcare division.


Last but certainly not least is CareFusion.  This company offers solutions for the following: Actionable Intelligence, Infection Prevention, Medication Management, OR Effectiveness, and Respiratory Care & Equipment.

Twitter: @CareFusion
CareFusion is using their Twitter account in a couple different ways.  First it appears that CareFusion has a different account setup just to recruit new employees.  CareFusion is also using Twitter to share company news, and does a good job of replying to tweets and thanking other users for sharing their information.

Facebook: CareFusion
CareFusion is sharing much of the same information on their Facebook page that is also on their Twitter page.  However, CareFusion has taken the time to make Facebook visually appealing by sharing photos of their team participating in local charity events, showing that even though they are a Fortune 500 brand, their team is all pitching in to help.

YouTube: CareFusion
This company has chosen to take a more product focused approach on their YouTube channel.  The playlists are broken down into different systems that medical professionals can use to perform specific procedures.  There are also channels which provide background information on the company, as well as career opportunities.

General Recommendations:  While I appreciate that CareFusion has taken a very direct approach with their YouTube channel, there is some room for further engagement.  Perhaps they could create a series of videos that are focused simply on solving common business problems that their customers face.

As you can see, these three Healthcare IT companies have been able to overcome the common barriers to implementing a social media strategy for a large company, and have done so successfully.  Which company’s social strategy stands out the most to you?  What did you find most interesting about their approach?  Also, where do you see an opportunity for improvement?

Healthcare Image provided via Shutterstock.

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Senior Director of Digital Strategy for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.


  1. Your article did not mention an important element of Dell
    Health’s social media presence – Dell Health inherited an existing, well-engaged
    audience and social assets when the company purchased Perot Systems and its
    healthcare division. Perot Systems’ healthcare division was among the earliest
    adopters of social media in the industry, encouraging its top executives to
    participate in social media (such as @harrygreenspun) in addition to corporate
    social media participation.

    I know because I built Perot Systems’ social media strategy, trained its executives, and
    managed its assets, including the healthcare division, until Dell acquired Perot

    It great to see how Dell Health has successfully
    rebranded and expanded upon my work for Perot Systems to gain traction in the healthcare space under the Dell name. Kudos to their team.

    • Tricia:

      Thank you for your insight into how Dell Health has managed to get started and keep the momentum going.

  2. Avatar Tara Rushmer says

    Great article! Thanks for sharing! It’s cool to see how different industries are using ideas on various social media platforms to gain traffic.

    • I thought so too. It can really vary by industry and even by customer groups within an industry.

    • Tara:

      Thanks for reading. I think this helps us see that each industry has a different set of customers, challenges, and opportunities. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  3. Take a look at Coyote Logistics. They’re doing a great job at reflecting their work culture.